Vintage Sewing

1940’s Du Barry Pinafore for Little Girls, Babies, and Toddler’s

By on July 21, 2013

Hello! This is my second contribution to this blog. My first was made almost a year ago, and I have really been looking forward to adding another post!  What I have made here is a pinafore from a 1940’s Du Barry vintage sewing pattern (#5847). I am an avid collector of vintage sewing patterns. My favorite decades are 1940’s-1970’s. I do love the 1920’s and 1930’s, of course, but those are a little harder to come by.

I had purchased some brown calico fabric (what you see in the pics that I have added) for another project…a dress for little girls from the early 1970’s. I thought that it had a “Brady Bunch” feel to it. The colors look as if they would be good for summer and autumn seasons (the original intention was to use it for late summer and early autumn). To me this fabric has a kind of an earthy prettiness to it. Because I had some extra fabric left over, I decided to use it to make this 1940’s Du Barry pinafore. I loved this darling pattern immediately when I saw it the first time. I decided to make only the pinafore and not the blouse. I did “tweak” the original pattern, though. Instead of using rick rick for the trim, I used orange bias tape (orange is a pretty bold color, I think). I added bias to the neckline and to the hem as well. I also lined the front and back panel of the pinafore with a coordinating green broadcloth fabric. The lining is necessary in my opinion. It not only makes the dress more opaque, but also gives it a very nice sturdy feel. The two skirt pieces on either side are not lined, of course. The original pattern also made bloomers; however, I do not care for this style of bloomers, and though you cannot see the bloomers in the pictures, I used a more modern version of bloomers from a 1970’s sewing pattern (with an elasticized waist and legs). I made the dress a little longer than the original, and for that reason the bloomers may be optional. I also updated this pinafore dress a bit by using a zipper closure in the back instead of buttons.

And here it is! I hope you like it!


Retro 1940's Du Barry Pinafore Dress for Little Girls, Toddlers, and Babies.
Retro 1940's Du Barry Pinafore Dress for Little Girls, Toddlers, and Babies.
Vintage 1940's Du Barry Sewing Pattern #5847





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Vintage Sewing

The early 1970’s was a great time to be a little girl!

By on December 4, 2012

I think that the early 1970’s was a great time to be a little girl. So were the late 1960’s. That is my opinion. Why? I don’t know…I just love the funky styles of that era and the bold use of color. The 1970’s saw many trends in fashion…you name it, the 1970’s had it. That decade had it all. I can see Victorian-era inspiration as well as 1930’s and 1940’s influence.

This is my first time posting any of my work on this blog. I have been meaning to do it for sometime, but I am just now getting around to it.

I love vintage Simplicity pattern 9532 from 1971, and have been wanting to make a dress from it for some time. There are two different variations of this dress, and I ended up make what I call a “hybridized” version of the two. View 1 has inverted pleats and short sleeves, while View 2 is gathered and has long sleeves. The dress I made had inverted pleats and long sleeves. Besides that, I also lined the dress. I chose 100% cotton quilting fabrics for the main fabric and the lining (the lining is the same color and material as the collar). The main fabric really makes me think of the early 1970’s…it just has that earthy feel, and the flowers on the dress are daisies, of course. I wanted to use a bright orange for the rick rack as orange is one of the colors of the main fabric. I very much wanted to make the collar for this dress. The dilemma was how to make the collar stay. The collar does have eye hooks in the back to close it, but it needed something to hold it in place. The original instructions called for basting the collar down. That is not practical, so I came up with the idea to hold the collar in place with buttons. I sewed to large orange buttons on the front of the dress, and I made the collar with buttonholes. The dress can be worn with or without the collar, of course.  I did lengthen this dress a bit because the original was very short (as was the style back then).

The beautiful models in all photographs are not my daughters. Their mother was kind enough to let them model for me. She also photographed them.


I used vintage McCall’s pattern 9532 (dated 1971) for  the next dress. This design was created by Helen Lee (I adore her work). I did tweak this design as well. I used a lightweight corduroy for the main fabric and a lightweight cotton broadcloth for the collar, sleeve ruffles, and lining. I added a zipper for the back closing instead of buttons. The version that I made was View A, and I decided to add pockets though it did not originally have pockets (View C does). Of course I lengthened this dress a bit as the original was too short for today’s standards (I don’t know many mothers who would let their daughters wear super short styles).



















About me: I love vintage patterns and I love sewing! I am an avid collector of vintage patterns and I also sell them online. I love sewing for myself and for others. I love to experiment with vintage patterns and I often deviate from the original pattern’s instructions and construction method. I am completely self-taught, and I acknowledge the fact that there is still lots more to learn. I shall not every stop learning and I shall not get weary when it comes to sewing!  Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at what I have created! ; )

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